MIP Could Become a Civil Infraction (Update 2015)

Minor in Possession could go from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction under Michigan alcohol bill. Underage drinkers could face the potential penalty equal to a speeding ticket

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There is new legislation pending in Lansing that would change the penalty for underage drinkers caught possessing, purchasing, or consuming alcohol in Michigan to a civil infraction rather than a misdemeanor offense.

The sponsor of the legislation is State Senator Rick Jones.  He says he is presenting this potential legislation because prosecutors have told him that minor in possession (MIP) cases are clogging the court’s dockets as young people fight the charges.  “Young people have found that having a misdemeanor on their record prevents them from getting college scholarships, sometimes getting into college, and certainly it affects future job prospects,”  said Jones R-Grand Ledge.

Under current law, a MIP first offense is punishable by a maximum fine of up to $100.  There can be additional conditions placed on an offender, such as drug/alcohol testing and therapy.  A second offense MIP can lead up to a fine of $200.  If there is a probation violation, there is a possibility of jail.

Senate Bill 332 would retain the fines but eliminate the threat of jail time or a permanent record.  A third offense would still be a misdemeanor crime punishable by a fine up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail, just like current law.

The change in the law is supported by the Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM).

The opposition:

Testimony against the bill reminded the committee members that MIP’s were civil infractions once before in Michigan from 1978 – 1995, and they did not work in curtailing young people’s consumption of alcohol.  Bruce Timmons testified that “district judges around the state complained that the civil fine sanction was ineffective and unenforceable.”  There was also a problem with many young people failing to pay the fines.

First Rate Minor in Possession Defense Attorneys in Michigan

The law firm of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has handled defended every sort of criminal offense imaginable in the State of Michigan.  Our firm prides itself on being cutting edge and up to the minute on changes in Michigan law. There is no telling at this point if the MIP law will change to make the offense a civil infraction.  However, you can count in LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. to know immediately if it does or not.  Our attorneys are well respected by their peers, judges, and members of the general public.  LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is considered one of the most successful, reliable, passionate, and fearless law firms in Michigan.  Our attorneys consider it an honor to be able to stand between our clients and the prosecutors to make sure that constitutional rights are protected.  If you are facing a criminal charge, or know someone who is, the lawyers at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are the “go-to” lawyers for the best representation available.  When you are faced with a criminal record or possible jail or prison, you need the best.  The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are the best.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.

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